Canberra United will make its national Powerchair Football debut this month when the squad convenes in Sydney for the Australian Powerchair Football Association National Championships, taking place from 28 April to 3 May.
As the newest team to enter the competition, there is an air of mystique surrounding the squad who face the prospect of a minimum of eight games in four days, a daunting schedule by any standard but one that doesn’t faze squad member Brandon Stroud.
Stroud, who is also Game Development Coordinator at Capital Football, is in a unique position to know exactly what is required at this level having been around the inner-workings of the Canberra United Liberty A-League operation for the past few seasons.
“We will have to make sure we get lots of rest, so we are refreshed and ready to go for our next match,” Stroud commented on the heavy workload. “That means our players will need to stick to their routines, so they are mentally prepared.
“This competition will allow our players to learn new skills, experience playing in front of crowds and, most importantly make new friends. It’s exciting getting the opportunity to play against the best Powerchair Football players in the country.”
Whilst the squad will be well-prepared heading to the tournament, the fact that this is the Canberra United team’s first foray into the rarefied atmosphere of a national championship is not lost on Stroud, who is realistic about the chances of the team going deep into the latter stages.
“The team is very excited about participating in the 2022 APFA Powerchair Football Club Championship,” he said.
“It has been a long time coming as it has been postponed a couple of times due to COVID. The postponement might be a blessing in disguise though as we were able to have more training sessions, so we are fully prepared for the competition.
“The Canberra United Powerchair team has provided a pathway for Powerchair players in the ACT to become aspiring Powerchair Football players. We hope that someday players from the ACT will get the chance to play for the Poweroos.”
And what about the eight match fixture list? Amongst their opponents in the round-robin event, which will see each team play every other competing squad once, are some superbly well-drilled clubs littered with some world class talents.
“We are expecting fierce competition against all the teams we will have to face, and we will have to work hard to get some wins,” Stroud admitted.
“The match I am most looking forward to playing is against Hills United as they have the MVP from the last Powerchair Football World Cup. They also have most of the Australian Poweroos in their squad.”
A difficult task indeed, but one for which these United superstars are set and prepared for. It promises to be an exhilarating and defining week for the debutants, and with a little bit of luck, who knows what they might achieve?
CANBERRA UNITED SQUAD
2 Rob OAKLEY
3 Willian MCLENNAN
6 Michael FOSTER
7 Cate LYONS
12 Giovanni TIYCE
14 Jamie LARSEN
16 Lilly SHARROCK
22 Brandon STROUD
Thursday 28 April
Western Sydney Wanderers (13:00)
Brisbane Strikers (17:00)
Friday 29 April
Hills United (11:00)
Brisbane City (15:00)
Saturday 30 April
Sydney FC (10:00)
South Melbourne (14:00)
Sunday 1 May
Newcastle Jets (12:00)
Adelaide United (17:00)
Monday 2 May
Tuesday 3 May